It is a beautiful autumn morning! Pop and I are out under the car porch with jackets on enjoying the cool air. Moments ago, i took a picture of the temperature gauge. It was 66 degrees! I know it'll warm up to the 80s by late afternoon, but I love it right now. I believe I'll stay out here as long as Pop wants to stay this morning.
When I awakened this morning, the house was quiet. I knew it was supposed to be cool, so I grabbed a book, got something to drink and then went to unlock the front door.
Last Sunday, Pop's children installed a lock on the door which requires a key from the inside. They installed it so Pop couldn't escape. That night, when I locked the door, I felt such relief wash over me cos I knew Pop couldn't escape and get hurt. I even slept in my own bed! I'd been sleeping on the couch because Pop, as intelligent--and somehow magical--as he is had gotten out TWICE without the alarms going off over the course of the last month and a half.
Funny thing is: When he came back IN the house, the alarms did go off. I'm not sure what spell he used to stop the alarms when he went out, but he must've done so. Either that or he disapparated from inside the house onto the porch. Do you think he could be a former Hogwarts' student who is living as a muggle here in Buna?
Anyway, so that was why I'd been sleeping on the couch. I wanted to make sure he stayed safe, yeah? So, this morning after I'd fixed myself a drink and a french break snack, I headed to the door I'd just unlocked moments ago. As I did so, I noticed that the blinds on the window were very askew--in the way that they get when Pop tries to open them so that the sun shines into the den.
I remember thinking, "Pop must've gotten up sometime after daybreak and opened the blinds." I knew he'd gone back to bed, though, cos the door to his bedroom was shut in the way it is when he is inside it sleeping.
I opened the door and set my book, drink and food down. I was really looking forward to reading on the porch in the cool morning air! I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye and looked up. Snow White (the dog pop loves and who follows him around, well, like a puppy dog) was standing there, panting and looking up at me.
I believe my heart rate jumped to at least three times its normal rate at that moment. "WHAT are you doing out here?" I asked, perhaps with a little fear in my voice. My mind raced. Had I not brought her into the house last night before I locked the door? I was hoping for that choice, really. Not that I'd done that before or that I wanted to leave a dog outside in the cold, but--if I had--then Pop hadn't escaped, yeah?
A quick check of my memory, however, vetoed that idea completely . I'd remembered seeing Snow trotting after Pop when he had awakened at ten-thirty or so last night. I stood there--for just a moment--and took a deep breath. I'd have to go check on Pop. I hated to do it because if he WAS still asleep--which I hoped he was--opening the door to his bedroom would awaken him. The door makes a very loud noise when opened because the house--which is fifty years old--has shifted on its foundation. Pop had been so tired yesterday--he even went to bed early--that I wanted him to get as much sleep as he could. Alas! I had to open it! What else could I do? Snow White being outside could only mean he'd somehow breached the security systems which have been installed around the house. In case you're wondering, I did check them FIRST THING after I saw Snow White outside. They were locked. After opening Pop's bedroom door, I slowly walked down the short hallway, hoping for the best. The few other times I'd had scares like this one, the end of the walk down the short hallway had brought relief and a slowed down heart-rate. Relief was not in the cards this time. His bed was empty and made-up. Pop ALWAYS makes up his bed when he leaves it for the day. It looked like Pop was gone. I kinda freaked a little in my head. On the outside, however, I maintained the facade of calm, cool, and collected. Ha!
"Pop" I called out repeatedly throughout the house. As I walked, I noticed things I hadn't when I'd been going back to see if Pop was in his room. Dale and Marilyn's bedroom doors were opened, and--though the window was shut--the screen was missing from one of the windows in the den. When I saw that screen sitting to the side of its "owner" window, i knew the truth for certain. Pop had escaped! I ran outside, calling his name in case he was just outside messing around in one of the out-buildings. No such luck.
I raced inside, threw on some clothes and brushed my teeth. As I grabbed my keys and headed to the car, I called his daughter. I knew she'd call out the cavalry. I drove down business 96 toward town and checked several of the streets.
As I passed a certain one that holds significance for Pop, I saw one of our dogs bounding around someone's property. I knew Pop had to be around there somewhere. I got out of the car, calling Tipper. She ran over to me easily enough. She didn't answer my questions as easily, though.
"Where's Pop, Tipper?" I asked her, but there was no reply. The moment felt very much like an episode of Lassie, but Tipper didn't quite communicate as well as her more famous counterpart.
I called Pop's name a few times to no avail. I decided to take a pass on Gum Slough Road. AS I walked back to my car, I noticed a big white work truck parked over on Gum Slough. Standing outside the driver's side door was Pop's son-in-law. The cavalry was here! Surely we'd find Pop now!
I waved to him and he waved back. His wave wasn't just hello though. It was followed by a pointing gesture. He'd found Pop! Relief washed over me completely. I walked over--with the son-in-law--to where Pop was and helped him over the stones and rocks to a flatter walking area. I put my hand through his elbow and we strolled down the railroad track toward our vehicles. I was struck with how much this seemed like a chapter in a Jane Austen novel. Here we were--a lady and a gentleman--taking in some sun and fresh air on our morning stroll.
We eventually made it home, safe and sound. The two of us have been sitting here on the porch enjoying the cool air ever since. Although, I imagine if we were in a Jane Austen novel, Aunt Norris or some other bossy busybody would have made us come in from the cold by now, yeah?
So, Mary, that was my adventure for today. it is only 10:05 a.m. There is still so much of the day left. I hope we don't have any bigger adventures!
I love you!